It’s a real tick off

By Marina Gomide

PET owners are being warned to be vigilant as tick season hits its peak thanks to widespread rainfall and warmer weather in recent weeks.

Clinical director of the Sunshine Coast Animal Emergency Vet Danielle Huston says tick season is at its peak and is urging pet owners to use tick prevention, particularly given the fact they have been receiving seven or more tick cases per day.

Having already seen a number of loved pets succumb to ticks this year and several more on life support for days, Dr Huston emphasised the importance of vigiliance. “If you are worried and see even slight symptoms, run to the vet because six hours can be the difference between life and death,” she explained.

Local Jo Walker has become an advocate for tick awareness after her 6-month-old pup Lennie almost died from a tick last year. Lennie had to be kept on a ventilator for seven days, spending a total of two weeks in the hospital, constantly on the verge of collapsing but thanks to the team at Tanawha Emergency Vet Lennie survived.

“It was the most traumatic experience I’ve ever had, not just the guilt that I could have prevented my little boys suffering if I had kept on top of the medication, but the constant fear that he might have died overnight,” Jo recalled.

She also brings up the big issue that pet owners don’t think about: the cost. She had to spend over $5000 per day to keep her boy on a ventilator and says how she was fortunate to have the money, but many people need to let their pet die.

“The first question they ask you when you bring your pet in is if you can afford the treatment,” she said.

“You don’t want to have to put a price on your pet’s life, so just spend the $200 dollars every few months, because it’s nothing compared to the alternative,” she warned.